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Camping is without a doubt one of my favorite things to do on a summer weekend. And if you go to the right place, camping can involve a lot more than sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, even though that’s one of my favorite parts. I recently went camping at the North Pole Campground and Inn in Wilmington. There are two sections of camping here. One is on the side of the road that goes down to the Ausable River, and the other is just down the road on the other side in a more wooded area, called 100 Acres Woods. This is the side that we usually stay on, but if you have kids I would recommend the other side, which is close to their pool, mini-putt course, camp store, and the river. 

The campground is very well maintained. I’ve been going there for years, and it has only improved over time. There were recently some new campsites added, which is where we stayed, along with our friends who were at the campsite across the street. When we arrived after work on Friday, the weather wasn’t ideal so we ordered food from Pourman’s Tap House, which is just a short walk up the street. Starving, I devoured the Lumberjack Burger — a burger topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Not necessarily camping food, but delicious.

Saturday was a beautiful day. I started my morning by taking a short walk to the newly opened coffee shop, Bear Den Coffee & Gifts, for an iced coffee.The staff was friendly, the coffee was good, and the view of Whiteface Mountain was even better. They also sell these really adorable wooden bears that are all over their deck outside, so you can enjoy your coffee with the bears!

After my morning coffee and view of the mountain, I wanted to go for a hike and enjoy the beautiful day. There is a short hike nearby that I wanted to do with my dog, Brody, so we could enjoy the summer weather. Cobble Mountain Lookout is just over a mile one way, which led us to amazing views overlooking Wilmington. I am not an avid hiker, so I was happy with this short hike that still boasted great views. After enjoying the scenery for a bit, we descended back down the trail and hopped back into our car, heading back to the campsite. 

Friends that were staying across the street came over for dinner that night, and we all grilled and played corn hole while we waited for dinner. I went with a classic Michigan with grilled zuccini and potatoes. The dogs laid under the picnic tables hoping for scraps.

Following dinner, my sweet tooth kicked in. Lucky for me, Whitebrook Dairy Bar is within walking distance of the campground. We all walked there for ice cream, and I was craving a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and a cherry, and I was more than satisfied with my order. Brody got vanilla ice cream too, which he devoured immediately. I stop at Whitebrook Dairy Bar any time I’m in Wilmington, or just passing through. 

When we returned I took Brody for a walk through the campground. There are little roads throughout that have Adirondack themed names. We did a loop through the whole campground. There are doggie disposal bags throughout if you travel with your pup. No day camping is complete without sitting by a fire. When Brody and I returned, the fire was going with my friends circled around it. We sat there chatting for a while and looked up at the star-filled sky while reminiscing and planning more summer camping trips. 

Looking to plan your own camping trip? There are several options in the Whiteface Region, or you can book a cabin or room close to plenty of outdoor recreation and attractions.

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